The University of Southampton

ECS launches involvement in BBC Digital Revolution

Published: 22 July 2009

The School’s involvement in the BBC’s groundbreaking ‘Digital Revolution’ series was launched last week at ‘WebFest09’.

The day-long activity, organized by Dr Mark Weal, was aimed at developing novel Web-based experiments, producing mashup applications and building useful datasets to highlight interesting aspects of the Web and to help communicate these ideas to a broader audience.

The event, which was part of the Web Science agenda promoted by WSRI (Web Science Research Initiative), involved over 100 members of staff and postgraduate students from the IAM (Intelligence, Agents, Multimedia) and LSL (Learning Societies Lab) groups and the MSc in Web Technology. They were able to provide new perspectives on topics such as the implications of music sharing, life without the Web, the representation of time on the Web, and personal data collections. ‘It was a jam session, where what we saw running through our hands were grains of ideas,' said Christopher Gutteridge, ECS Web Projects Manager, who spent the day working on the Common Eras project. ‘But,' he added, 'in time some of them will become pearls!’

The upcoming Digital Revolution series provided the catalyst for the event, and the ECS researchers were joined by members of the production team, including Dan Gluckman and series producer Russell Barnes.

Digital Revolution (working title) is a major BBC2 and BBC Multiplatform project marking 20 years of the Web, and exploring its profound impact on almost every facet of our lives. ‘We'd long realised the resonances with the aims of Web Science, and ECS's WebFest09 was a great opportunity to exchange ideas with web scientists and think about online experiments that might inform the series,’ said Dan Gluckman.

Professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Professor Nigel Shadbolt of ECS are advising the production team and both featured in the launch event for the series, which took place at the BBC Media Centre in London on 10 July.

ECS has is now offering PhDs in Web Science through the new Doctoral Training Centre in Web Science, and this year also launches a new MSc programme in Web Science.

For further information contact Joyce Lewis; tel.+44(0)23 8059 5453

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